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Full text of "A search in secret Egypt"

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how could such a faith be unfit, or inconsistent with, the needs of our modern age of science and culture ? Indeed, Islam urges people to pursue knowledge. Saith the Lord, in this connection:
" úSay: Consider whatever is in the Heavens and the Earth.'
"The true believers are described in the Quran as those who 'meditate upon the creation of the Heavens and the Earth/
"Early Muslims gave proof that it was possible to reconcile religion with practical life and science without going astray. They made use of Greek and Roman works on philosophy and science; they translated them, criticized them, and improved on them. They practised all branches of worldly occupations, including agriculture, commerce and industry.
"One of the reasons for its early and rapid spread was that Islam is a practical and not a theoretical reUgion. It put forth laws and orders that should be obeyed, and principles that could be applied to life.
"It took into account the relevant requirements of human
nature, and established principles in which the needs of both body and soul were equally considered. It did not trespass upon one of them to the benefit of the other. When Islam made lawful the enjoyment of the good things of life, it prescribed limits to check man's appetites, and forbade him to do what might harm a,nd corrupt him. Nor has it neglected the spiritual side of man; Islam gave this side its full due too."
"Why are women veiled, and will this custom cease? It is a common Western idea that women in Muhammedan countries have been kept down, half enslaved, treated as totally inferior beings. What have you to say to this ?"
"As to the veiling of women," came the rejoinder, "Islam has specified a certain form of it, namely that women should not display their attractions to strangers and array themselves ostentatiously in public. In this way women retain their decorum and men are guarded against falling under their spell. No doubt, Islam, by ordaining this, was successful in laying down a sound principle to save both man and woman the evil of temptation and sin.
"Islam, however, did not carry the veiling of women too far; it permitted them to uncover their faces and their hands, unless temptation be feared.
"The Western view that Muslim women are kept down, half enslaved and treated as totally inferior beings, is neither true